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Terabyte-Using Cable Customers Double, Increasing Risk of Data Cap Fees

Sunday January 27, 2019. 03:14 PM , from Slashdot
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: U.S. cable Internet customers are using an average of 268.7GB per month, and 4.1 percent of households use at least 1TB, according to new research by the vendor OpenVault. Households that use at least 1TB a month are at risk of paying overage fees because of the 1TB data caps imposed by Comcast and other ISPs. Terabyte users nearly doubled year over year, as just 2.1 percent of households hit the 1TB mark last year, according to OpenVault. OpenVault found that households that face data caps use 8.5-percent less data than un-capped users, suggesting that cable customers limit their Internet usage when they face the prospect of overage fees. According to OpenVault, the caps can help cable companies avoid major network upgrades.

Specifically, 'OpenVault's 2018 data also shows that average usage for households with flat-rate pricing was 282.1GB/HH, more than 9 percent higher than the 258.2GB/HH average usage for households on usage-based billing (UBB) plans,' OpenVault wrote. Stated another way, customers facing caps and overage fees use 8.5-percent less data than un-capped customers. Un-capped customers are, naturally, more likely to exceed a terabyte. 'The percentage of flat-rate (non-UBB) households exceeding 1TB of usage was 4.82 percent, a full percentage point higher than the 3.81 percent of UBB households who exceeded the 1TB threshold,' OpenVault said. The 268.7GB average household data used in December 2018 was 'up from 226.4GB/HH [household] at the end of June 2018 and a 33.3 percent increase over the YE 2017 average of 201.6GB/HH,' OpenVault said. Median usage was 145.2GB in December 2018, 'up from 116.4GB/HH in June 2018 and a 40 percent increase over the YE 2017 median of 103.6GB/HH,' the company also said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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